WAETAG provides regular grant opportunities of up to $1,000 for teachers who need support developing their Highly Capable Programs, obtaining professional development, or purchasing materials needed to enhance instruction for their classrooms. In January, WAETAG awarded grants to Highline School District’s Christie Brown and Sedro-Woolley School District’s Liz Jenkins. Christie was able to use her funds to support teacher training in project-based learning designed to enhance and differentiate content across the curriculum and Liz was able to attend Whitworth’s Gifted Education Webinar Series.
Christie Brown shares how her grant funds were used to provide teachers with professional development:
“Our Highly Capable service delivery options at the elementary level include a self-contained program and a general education integration model. The general education model allows students who are identified as eligible for services to remain at their home school and receive services in their general education classroom with their grade level peers. As part of this program, our office supports teachers through training aimed at differentiating content to support students with critical thinking, collaboration, curiosity and imagination.
Our Highly Capable department used the funds from this grant to provide training for teachers in Project Based Learning. The goal is teacher understanding of the concept of authentic student exploration of topics. The grant funds were spent to purchase copies of “Project-Based Learning for Gifted Students” by Todd Stanley and a variety of non-fiction texts on an environmental theme. Each teacher will work with their copy of “You Can Save The Planet” by Alessandra Potenza as they learn to create a project. Each teacher will also be given at least one additional text to use as background information for their students.
The projects will be implemented in classrooms to promote student autonomy and curiosity. Teacher’s professional practice will be enhanced by training and tools in the philosophy and methodology of Project Based Learning. Teachers gain expertise in creating authentic experiences for students to explore and apply learning to projects related to curricular content and topics of their choice.”
Don’t forget that grant requests are due on August 31, December 31, and March 31. You can’t be rewarded if you don’t apply, so take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to take a few steps closer to your dreams of what your Highly Capable Program or classroom could be.